I have never set out to "impress" anyone... nor do I think I'm special..... I was just willing to put it out there. I was willing to share this journey and be honest about it.... why the hell shouldn't I? What's so wrong about "airing your dirty laundry...."? I mean - I never actually set out to DO THAT... but if that's what happened - who the hell cares? Life is far too short and I've learned *a lot* from many of you -and as I've said a dozen times - I refuse to discount the value in having made connections with people just because my honesty or my writing style or my grammar irritates you.... See that little red box in the corner of this page? Click the f*ck on it and go away if you don't want to read what I write.... you won't be missed.
Today I woke up to a VERY NASTY email from the husband of The Friend who excited my life shortly after I came out... it was LACED with accusations and nastiness.... he even said that "all" my friends are only friends with me to get free photos..... he THEN went on to say this gem:
"I would really be impressed if you ever admit (even if only to yourself since you have an image to uphold) some fault about your marriage. Especially in light of the "recent" coming out But, that was probably [El Capitan's] fault too. "
They actually requested that I reprint their ENTIRE email instead of quote one line (if I used it on the blog " I won't be surprised if you copy paste only parts of this email in some blog post that people with no lives read that you feel the need to impress. If you are going to quote me do it in its entirety.") however, given that this person used their FULL NAME and sent it from their work email that includes the company they work for... I'll refrain from doing that for their benefit (your welcome).
I will however address what *has* to be the most ignorant comment anyone has made to me since I came out - the suggestion that El Capitan "made" me gay.
What "image" have I tried to 'uphold' on The Blog......? I kind of think I look a bit like a mess.... so, I fail to see what "image" I have so craftily created. The Book and The Blog are riddled with fault and mistakes on both sides .... I have never said I never did anything wrong in my marriage.
Regardless.... no one "made" me gay. The mere suggestion by an adult man with a college degree that *anyone* is "made gay" is shockingly ignorant.... really. Shocking.
Over the next few weeks I will painstakingly share MY version of what being "gay", growing up "gay" and everything else.... I will blog about the night I came out to my family, my friends, their reactions. The night I came out to El Capitan - and later to La Novia. I will blog about my new life - my new friends - and telling the children....
This *will* bring ridicule upon me. I know what some people will say and suggest... I can already hear the slurs and the nastiness... and that's ok. I've done it before - I've weathered that storm and came out the other side and was *still* willing to be open and honest and bare...... but THIS story. The story of ME - is more important than almost any other I've ever told before because there are too many of us PARENTS who are ignorant to the sexuality/gender identity of our children.... and - some of us are still living in closets.....
So.... here goes........
When I was 9 years old I was at a sleep over and all the other little girls were talking about boys.... I was talking about boys, too: I was always boy crazy. BOY.CRAY.ZEEEEE. and then some. We planned our weddings, down to our taffeta dresses and super long trains - because every little girl in the 1980s wanted to be like Princess Diana.
I chased boys on the playground, I dreamed of being Cinderella and having a Prince.... I gushed over Michael Jackson and Jason Bateman and Jerry O'Connell. I was *very much* a child who craved, not so much attention, but acceptance and validation - I would do anything to 'fit in' and make other people happy - especially my loving and doting parents.
So.... raised on a healthy diet of Sweet Valley High books and love songs by The Cure: I was boy crazy.
My Barbie's however.... they were queer as f*ck.... lol. I was very interested in how girls might have sex.... where did the parts go? Who got on top?.... I was too young to understand about fingers and strap-ons... so my Day to Night Barbie (a special gift from some family friends from Australia) used to "scissor" with Golden Dream Barbie (she had a plastic curling iron that would "curl" the gold wires in her hair)..... for those who need to know, "scissoring" ... you can look it up. lol
*I* was boy crazy and in love with Jason SomethingWithAMullet in the third grade and Troy WithTheBlondCurlyHair in the fifth grade and one of the many "Aarons" we had in our class in the sixth grade.... Day to Night and Golden Dream, however, kept getting it on in the cardboard Town House complete with white pillars and plastic yellow hand-pulled elevator. Those lezzies were gay. Believe that.
Up to this point I had been raised for half my life in my Grandparents Jewish home.... I knew that G*d was good and kind... but piss The Man off and you'll be a pillar of salt, yo. For reals. That's some scary sh*t when you're a kid.... when we moved away The Bubbie decided we would all be Catholic (don't ask me why.....) - so it was off to Catholic Church I went.
I did the communion thing in my white dress and promised to G*d to be pure and honest and good.... and you know the whole white dress/veil thing is *meant* for you to be a "bride" of sorts - and I understood that the underlying message was that I should be a "good girl" and grow up to marry a "nice boy". (oopsie on that one, eh? just kidding....)
I had my First Communion, my Confirmation... I went to Church every Sunday and Youth Group once a week. I worked in the Nursery for the earlier Mass.... I prayed the Rosary and when I was 9 if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would *very seriously* tell you that I was going to grow up, get married, have kids and either my husband would die or I would divorce him, then I would become a Nun, and then a saint. I knew all about the Saints, my *favorite* Saint being St. Agnes. I knew all their names, how they died for the G*d we both loved and followed.... I knew what they were the patrons of - instead of trading baseball cards or Garbage Pail Kids cards - I collected metal charms of all the various Saints and wore them on a chain around my neck.
I knew a lot about Saints.... mostly, I knew for *sure* they weren't gay.... and therefor, neither was I.
Well... I didn't *have* to be. I could chose G*d - I could choose to live His life, marry a man, have 2.5 kids, living a house with a picket fence and die.... happy.
It was *clear* that if I wanted my parents to be happy....I would choose this path.
It was *clear* that if I wanted to make my loving G*d happy.... I would choose this path.
and while my sexuality wasn't clear to me at all..... I knew *who* I wanted to make happy: The Bubbie, The Papa and G*d..... isn't that what most kids want?
So. No one "made" me gay..... however, I can tell you down to the year when I was "made" straight.
It's no one's fault. My parents hold a certain faith - they value that faith and hoped that the morals and values of that faith would be instilled in me and make me a better person.... and for the most part: it did.
I wanted nothing more than to make G*d The Father proud of me... *happy* with me.... so while Day to Night continued to have her dirty Romans 1:26-27 way with Golden Dream on a daily basis, *I* continued to chase boys on playgrounds, pass notes folded into tiny origami shapes and wear Paul WithTheCrewCuts jean jacket through the fifth grade because we were "going steady".
These early days... before sweaty hand-holding and kissing.... they were easy. Being with boys was fine because really... I spent all my time with girls anyway - playing after school, riding bikes, having sleep overs.... making those paper "fake nails" and eating popcorn and lip-syncing into hairbrushes with Angie my childhood BFF.... I never "crushed" on a girl until I was much, much older......
My world was a bubble of happiness.... straight fed, straight raised, straight fueled: happiness.
Gay.... however, did not exist.
I had no concept of who I was and how I felt because no one exposed me .... to myself.
No one showed me pictures of two woman holding hands and said: this is normal.
No one showed me showed me an image of a family with two "Moms" and said: this is okay.
No one showed me a picture of two brides on their wedding day and said: this could be you.
I thought only *men* were gay and some kid named Jeremy WhoWasTheTallestBoyInSchool told me once by the tire swing that gay men got "raids" from Monkey's..... I wasn't sure what 'raids' was - but I was glad I was not a gay man and that I didn't have a monkey. because it all sounds *bad* and *wrong*... very, very wrong.
I knew that I wasn't a man..... so I thought I couldn't be gay.
Ergo.... problem solved: I'm straight. Phew.
Before I had a chance to grow up and grow *into* my own primal feelings.... I was already being told that they were wrong and bad and not something I should do or be.....
And, like any "good" Catholic girl I chose G*d. I chose the only path that had been presented to me that would lead to a "happy" life and meet the approval of The Bubbie, The Papa and G*d.
I chose to be straight.
So..... when it gets down to brass tax.... can *YOU* tell me when you chose to be straight?
I can tell you when I chose to be straight... because the truth is, I thought it was my only choice.
I couldn't understand why my loving G*d who knit me in my mothers womb when He created me wonderfully and fearfully and where all the day of my life were already written and ordained by G*d (Psalm 139: 13-18) could screw this up because in The Bible G*d doesn't make mistakes and only men are gay and gay is bad and gets you 'raids' from monkeys .... well....it took me a very long time to understand that like it or not, *understand it* or not .... G*d did make me, and when He did... *G*D* made me gay.
So..... nasty email writing husband of The Friend: G*D made me gay... not El Capitan.
And now.... we all know, but I *really* wish someone had told 8 year old me that it didn't have to be that way.... that I didn't have to choose, that I didn't have to be so quick to define myself .... that I could have just been *me*....